Nigeria

ITALIANS HELD

Nigeria were recently involved in a friendly match with Italy at Craven cottage and they came out of the match with a credible 2-2 draw against the 2006 world champions.

Nigeria manager Stephen Keshi said after the match that his players deserved this result because they have to go to extreme lengths in order to perform well. Nigeria had only come to London 48 hours before the match, which meant that his players were suffering from serious jetlag issues. Some of them had not slept properly, but despite such difficulties, they were able to get the draw.

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TOUGH REGION

Africa is proving to be one of the toughest regions for teams to get into the World Cup. As much as nine teams have the ability to seal qualification for the World Cup 2014 in the next few qualifiers.

Nigeria managed to comfortably get past Malawi in the latest World Cup qualifying match. After the 2-0 victory, national team coach Stephen Keshi has said that he is confident that Nigeria can beat any of the World Cup qualifying teams from Africa. The likes of Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Egypt will be the favourites at the World Cup 2014.

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NIGERIA FALL IN RANKINGS

Nigeria have been doing poorly in the FIFA rankings in recent times. They have dropped seven places since the last two rankings came out. They are currently ranked 35th in the world.

The national team manager, Stephen Keshi, though, thinks that the rankings from FIFA are not a true indicator of the quality of the teams. He has recalled how Brazil managed to lift the Confederations cup a few weeks ago by managing to beat the best team in the world – Spain. Brazil are currently 22nd in the world ranking tables despite having won the World Cup more than any country in the world.

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SEMI FINAL AIMS

After winning the African cup of nations for first time with this current generation, Nigerian national team manager Stephen Keshi has said that he will be looking to make it into the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Nigeria have managed to win a total of three African cup of nations titles so far in their history.

However, African teams are yet to taste success in the FIFA World Cup. Due to the fact that Nigeria have a young average age within the squad, it is expected that they will be highly competitive at the World Cup that will take place in just over a year.

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PROUD NIGERIANS

The Nigerian midfielder Victor Moses has said that he is extremely proud to be a Nigerian. The Chelsea midfielder managed to lift the 2013 African cup of nations with the African team after they managed to win the final against Burkina Faso 1-0.

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NIGERIA IN POOR FORM

Nigeria have been extremely poor in the last five matches, which has raised the concern ahead of the 2013 African cup of nations.

The manager once again saw his team put an extremely disappointing performance in the recent match against Cape Verde. Nigeria were playing against Cape Verde in the second of the friendly match ahead of the African cup of nations. After failing to assert any major advantage over the minnows, Nigeria only managed a 0-0 draw. The manager Stephen Keshi lambasted his players by saying that it was not good enough.

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ALUKO IN CONTENTION

The Nigerian national team manager Stephen Keshi has confirmed that the Hull city player Sone Aluko is in contention to be part of the team at the 2013 African cup of nations that will be held in South Africa.

The 23-year-old Nigerian has been an impressive form for Steve Bruce's side as he has already scored eight goals in just 17 Championship matches. As a result, his call up for the 2013 African cup of nations has been widely discussed. Stephen Keshi this also confirmed that he has already taken a look at the player and he remains in contention for the final squad.

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KESHI HAPPY WITH TEAM

The Nigerian national team manager Stephen Keshi has said that he is extremely happy to have a team that has so many high quality strikers. Nigeria has many talented strikers who are playing both at home and in foreign clubs.

This means that the team has a depth in attack that is unmatched by many teams in Africa according to the manager. As a result, he feels that the team is heading in the right direction. He has also said that he will be looking at various new strikers when the Nigerian football team takes on Venezuela in a friendly match in Miami.

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PRESSURE TELLS

Nigeria national team manager Stephen Keshi has said that there was a lot of pressure on the national team following their failure to qualify for the 2012 African cup of nations. Nigeria will be taking on Namibia in the World Cup qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup that will take place in Brazil.

CALABAR HOSTS HOME MATCHES

The Nigeria Football Federation has said that Calabar will be the host of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations home qualifiers that will take place in June and also the 2014 World Cup qualifiers as well.

The games were initially expected to be held in Kaduna, but they have been shifted in order to do away with the security problems.

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